Saturday, June 2, 2018

A Place to Call Home: A book review

A Place to Call Home: A book review

I read one contemporary novel for every eight or ten historic fiction books I read. As most of you know or at least may have figured out based on the title of my blog (History, Mystery & Faith) I'm a history geek. I love to research, write, and read about the past, especially the World War II era. But as a member of the CelebrateLit blogging team, I periodically chose to try a new author or review a book about a contemporary book with a plot line or topic that intrigues me.

Such was the case with Merrillee Whern's A Place to Call Home. I love books about second chances-in fact that is a theme that is often found in my own books, so when I saw the blurb for Merrillee's book, I jumped at the chance to read it. The male protagonist, Kurt Jansen, is released from prison after serving six years for the false charge of killing his wife. With a secret of her own, female protagonist, Molly Finnerty, hires him to renovate her home. Can you see why I wanted to read this book? Here are my thoughts about it:

Author Merrillee Whren

A Place to Call Home is the first book by Merrillee Whren I have read, and it won’t be the last. The protagonists Kurt Jansen and Molly Finnerty are complex and realistic characters that I really liked and related to. I enjoyed the fact that Kurt’s and Molly’s pasts are handled differently in the book. The premise of the story is that Kurt is imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Molly also has secrets that are fed to the reader bit by bit, and often in response to something that has happened to Kurt. The story hooked me immediately, and was well-researched. Other than a few repetitive words (lots of wry smiles), the writing flows well and the dialogue is natural. Kurt’s kids are precocious without being obnoxious, and the minor characters are sufficiently developed. The mystery is mostly solved off stage and gives a satisfactory ending to the story.

I received a copy of the book for free from CelebrateLit Publicity, and a positive review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Blurb:
After serving six years in prison for the false charge of manslaughter in the death of his wife, Kurt Jansen must overcome a world of bitterness if he wants to start a new life. But his first priority is securing a restoration job to pay a private investigator to find the real killer and a lawyer to get his kids back.

Hiring a convicted wife-killer isn't what kind-hearted Molly Finnerty bargains for as part of the prison ministry she supports. However, she begins to believe Kurt's claim of innocence and gradually finds a great deal to like about him-perhaps more to like than she should.

Can they overcome the past and find forgiveness and love?

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